Trump’s Letter to Pakistan: Future of Afghanistan


There is a very famous saying in international relations according to Realist School of thought, “There is no concept of morality in international relations. Primary objective of every state is to maximize its own national interests”.

Unfortunately! American president is following this realist approach with full zeal. Since assuming the office of American President, policies of Trump are uncertain. He is surprising the world with his unpopular decisions based on its so called “America First” agenda. He is fulfilling his commitments which he made with American people during his election campaign from pulling U.S. out from Paris Climate Change pact to Iran Nuclear deal with P5+1 countries. Trump is sticking to his words. Currently, Trump is following his so-called “America First” agenda which according to him is to put American economy on the right track.

Realist approach of President Trump is creating chaos in international community and putting the fate of global peace at stake. Last year in August, President Trump announced his South Asia strategy in which he made starling accusations against Pakistan. Trump accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists and providing them safe heavens in its tribal areas. Trump accused Pakistan of using non-state actors to achieve its strategic objectives in Afghanistan. He hinted more active role of India in Afghanistan post-NATO withdrawal. In January this years, Trump tweeted anti-Pakistan tweet in which he once again accused Pakistan of doing nothing for American interests and announced to cut military and civilian aids to Pakistan in order to put maximum pressure on Pakistan to take stringent actions against the Haqqani network and other non-state actors who are residing in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Trump’s South Asia policy has serious consequences for this region as it will increase the Indian influence in Afghanistan which is not acceptable for Pakistan at any cost, Trump’s policies are dividing the counties of South Asian region.

Not only that the other parts of the world are now divided due to the policy of Trump, even members of EU are not taking side of Trump. Pulling out from international agreements unilaterally will have serious repercussions for international community. Due to policies of Trump, nationalism is increasing in America. American people are not on the same page. His anti-Muslims approach angered human right watch dogs and Muslim countries as well. Anti-Americanism is increasing in Muslim world due to his policies.

Economically speaking, Trump is following protectionism to counter growing Chinese influence in the field of technology. Trump is putting global cooperation in jeopardy by pulling out from transnational agreements and intensifying trade war with China. Recently, IMF Chief Christine Legard warned leaders of G20 countries in Argentine about the possible consequences of Trump’s protectionism policy. America should realize that pulling out from transnational agreements will pave the way for economic disintegration which will cause worldwide inflations.

In a new diplomatic move, President Trump changed its strategy to Afghan and adopted realist approach in which he wrote to Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan to facilitate Afghan peace process and help America to bring Taliban on the negotiating table. America has to change its dual policy towards Pakistan at the same time. Like, newly appointed U.S. Chairman for Central Command (USCECOM) Lt. Gen. Kenneth Mckannzie during his confirmation hearing in U.S. Armed Forces Committee has revealed that Pakistan is playing double role in Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan has very important role to play in Afghanistan, but at the same time is using Taliban for its own objectives. To get Pakistan’s support in Afghanistan, America should acknowledge Pakistan’s sacrifices in war against terror rather to blame Pakistan for doing nothing.

Russia is another important player in this region which has also important role to play in Afghanistan. Russia is already playing pivotal role in Afghanistan to bring Taliban on the negotiation table. Russia recently hosted Afghan peace talks in Moscow in which representatives of Afghan High Peace Council, India, China and Pakistan participated. America should recognise Russian efforts for bringing peace in Afghanistan. America has to set its rivalry with Russia aside to resolve Afghan crisis peacefully. Peace in Afghanistan is in the interests of entire region. No country would be the beneficiary of peace in Afghanistan. Multilateral cooperation is essential for Afghanistan peace process as no country can unilaterally bring peace back in Afghanistan.

President Trump appointed Afghan-born U.S. national Zalmy Khalilzad as its envoy for Afghan peace process. Zalmy Khailzad visited Afghanistan, Pakistan, UAE and Qatar. He even met with the Taliban representatives in their political office in Doha. He seems very optimistic about the fate of Afghan peace process. Initially, as mentioned earlier that President Trump’s policy towards Pakistan is hostile, however, Trump has realized that without the support Pakistan, it is very difficult for America to deal with Afghan Taliban. He realized Pakistan’s pivot for Afghan peace process.

President Trump has to understand the sensitivity of Afghan crisis before taking any unilateral decision on the future of Afghanistan. Confidence building measures are essentials between America and Pakistan to work jointly in Afghanistan. President Trump’s letter to PM Imran Khan seeking cooperation in Afghanistan peace process is positive step in right direction and seems acknowledgement of Pakistan’s role in war against terrorism. Trump should realized that without Pakistani consent, there would be no peace in Afghanistan. Trump has to take Russia and China on board over Afghan peace process.

Ultimate winner of Afghan crisis would be China without shedding any drop of blood in Afghanistan.

Peaceful Afghanistan is in the interest of this region. Joint efforts are required in Afghanistan to deal with Taliban. India should also not ignore Pakistan’s sacrifices in war against terror. Peaceful Afghanistan will help Pakistan and India to mend their bilateral distrust.